Fasting is a pillar of Islam. In Arabic, it is called 'Saum'. The meaning of Saum is to get stopped from something. In the Islamic calendar, the ninth month of Ramazan is specified for fasting. In this month, it is expected from all the Muslims to stop eating. They can't eat from dawn till dusk. After this month, Muslims celebrate Eid-ul Fitr on the first day of 'Shaban'.
Fasting is Essential
In the month of Ramazan fasting is essential for every Muslim but there are some exceptions as well. Those who are patients, exempted from fasting. People of old age, children and pregnant mothers are also exempted from fasting. In the same way, if a person is traveling, he/she may leave fasting as fasting is not essential for him/her.
Leaving or Breaking Fast Without any Reason
Fasting is a prayer that is essential for every Muslim in the month of Ramazan. Breaking or leaving fast without having any severe disease is a great sin. If one does that, he/she will have to provide two times meal for sixty people or to continue fasting after Ramazan for sixty days without break. Though this compensation looks strict but it shows that how much fasting is considered important in Islam.
Importance of Fasting in The Quran
All-important instructions for Muslims are given into Quran which is the holy book of Muslims. Quran doesn't give us instructions for prayers only but provides us a complete code of life. Fasting is an important prayer of Islam. In the Quran, it is said that:
"Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwaa".
On another place, it is said that:
"And it is better for you that ye fast if ye only knew".
Importance of Fasting in Hadith
It is said with the reference of Abu Huraira (r.a): The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: 'Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven' (Imam Bukhari). In another hadith, it is said that 'When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained' (Imam Bukhari).
Impact of fasting on society
Its impact can be observed on the whole society as well.
At the end of this fasting month Ramazan, Muslims celebrate Eid ul Fitr which is a moment of happiness.
In Ramazan, it is obligatory for every Muslim to pay the charity of Fitr which is generally known as Fitrana. It is basically to help poor people who can't celebrate Eid because of their poverty.
The fasting of one month motivates the Muslims to help others as they can understand the feelings of hungry people. As it is repeated every year so it continues the motivation to help others.
Fasting is a milestone in the spiritual evolution of a person. Fasting brings you closer to the ALLAH, Almighty as ALLAH says that Fasting is for me and I will reward for it.
When a person brings the concept of this reward in his mind which will be given by the ALLAH Almighty, he worships Him with more sincerity.
Ramazan is considered a month of blessings. It is the blessing of Ramazan that ALLAH Almighty rewards for our good deeds more than 70 times as compared to normal days. On one hand, when we perform good deeds, we get more blessings, on the other hand, these blessings prevent us from doing sins and committing crimes in the month of Ramazan.